COURTENAY – Lourdes Gant and Briana Gant of Manatee Holdings Ltd. both took home Stevie Awards in the 15th Annual International Business Awards.

Briana won a Gold Stevie Award in the Maverick of the Year category and Lourdes won a Silver Stevie Award in the Woman of the Year category.

The International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – are eligible to submit nominations. The 2018 IBAs received entries from 74 nations and territories.

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at a gala awards banquet at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel in London, England on 20 October. 

More than 3,900 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Company of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Startup of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.  Both Lourdes and Briana won their categories for the aquaculture and fishing industries,.

Briana Gant came to work for Manatee Holdings Ltd from a background as a paramedic and member of the Whitewater Ski Resort Rescue Team.  Last fishing season, Briana was the only female diver working in the urchin and sea cucumber fisheries on the West Coast of Canada.  This work demands a highly trained, experienced, warrior mentality, well grounded in the reality of the ocean’s surroundings, just to survive, let alone to do well.

Here are some of the judges’ comments: “A true maverick in a very positive sense” “Very courageous, unique in every way, very few can achieve what Briana has achieved.  Well done!”  “Dealing with the dangers to create such a marvelous ecological output.  Incredibly good!” 

Lourdes Gant was also the recipient of the Silver Stevie in 2017 for the same category.

Here are some of the judges’ comments about her entry: “more multi-cultural, more environmental and more humanistic accomplishments to make the world a better place;” “She has done an unbelievable job by taking care of the environment while doing business.”

“With the difficult environment that we are all experiencing comes a challenge that require special people with a vision on how to adapt to changes that is outside our control.  That vision requires a person with strong belief that they can make a change. It’s evident with Lourdes that she has what it takes to lead and innovate that can only happen from a person with leadership and management qualities.”

Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 270 judges worldwide who participated on 12 panels.

“This year’s Stevie Award winners in the IBAs are the most distinguished group of winners we’ve had yet,” said Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

“We raised the minimum average score from the judges required to qualify as a Stevie winner, so 2018 winners should be especially proud of their achievements.  We look forward to presenting their Stevies to them in London on October 20, and to telling “their stories over the coming year through Stevie Awards media.”

Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners are available at